I'm wondering about heart rate data during a flat(-ish) Individual time trial that takes a bit below 1 hour to complete at elite level, like the typical ITTs in TdF. I know HR alone is far from the big picture but I remember reading about average HR during marathons and variability was remarkably low, irrespective of finish time. So does anyone know the average/max heart rates of well trained cyclists during such efforts?

  • 2
    Is there a specific question? This site is not intended for open discussion. Commented Feb 22, 2020 at 22:44
  • What is your question? If you want to chat in an unstructured way then Bicycles Chat
    – Criggie
    Commented Feb 23, 2020 at 0:19
  • I guess the OP is trying to ask what the average HR would be over a period of one hour for a set distance, I could be totally wrong though and even if it was right it would be all dependent on the group being of equal fitness.
    – Dan K
    Commented Feb 23, 2020 at 9:17
  • @ArgentiApparatus I edited the answer but I don't think I could be asking for more than avg/max HR or a HR plot Commented Feb 23, 2020 at 10:45
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    FWIW, the "220 - age" estimate for max heartrate is effectively useless. The standard deviation on that is something like 10 bpm, which is wider than most "zones" used for HR-based training. And even those "zones" are just estimates that actual humans rarely match. Asking about average HR in TdF TTs is like asking about the average height of NBA players. If you're not genetically-disposed to have the physical characteristics required for competing at that level, you're not going to be in the sample pool. Commented Feb 23, 2020 at 13:02

1 Answer 1


This is absolutely specific on the heart rate zones of each individual. Each person has a different heart rate at their functional threshold (FTHR). Professional cyclists are able to cycle for a long time (most of the road race) almost at their functional threshold but the actual heart rate is completely individual. Even the percentage of the functional threshold heart rate to some "maximum" heart rate will be individual. All these values must be determined by an appropriate physiological stress test to be reasonably accurate.

See, for example, https://cyklopedia.cc/cycling-tips/what-is-ftp-in-cycling/#1

When it comes to the maximum heart rate, that is not a very reliable value (may vary strongly for different activities) and it is much better to start all you zones and comparisons from your FTHR than some percentage of some maximum.

As a good source of example pro-cyclist heart rates you can use https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6572307/ although it uses a longer race.

The HR during the race was 158.9 ± 10.6 bpm (86.4 ± 2.2% HRmax), and exercise intensity is categorized as vigorous intensity.

As you can see, the variance for the heart rate is higher (more individual) than the variance of the maximum percentage.

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